A new three-day festival featuring barbecue and music, to be held during the Hall County Fair in July, is expected to draw 10,000 to 13,000 people over the course of the event.
The family-friendly barbecue and music festival, which runs July 12-14, will be called Q4A Cause — Rockin’ Rib Revival. It will be presented inside the Aurora Cooperative Pavilion and in the area surrounding it. Attendees will be able to sit inside or outside.
The event will benefit the Grand Island Children’s Museum (which is still being planned), Hope Harbor and Grand Island Public Schools’ Food for Thought program. On Sunday, July 14, Grand Island religious leaders will give sermons on the impact of music in our lives, whether through good or tough times.
Admission to the festival will be free and open to all ages. The food will be available at the normal prices charged by the barbecuers. Those food vendors, though, will not sell beverages.
Beverages will be served at drink stations and a beer garden. Organizers call it “Nebraska’s largest indoor/outdoor beer garden.”
Regional and national barbecue pitmasters will be on hand.
The barbecue portion of the event is not a competition. The idea is just to provide good food to attendees.
The nonprofit organizations will be accepting donations and using the opportunity to tell people about their work.
The founder and coordinator of Q4A Cause is Brent Lindner, one of the originators of the Hear Grand Island summer concert series. A news release says Q4A Cause is working in conjunction with Hear Grand Island in “lining up Nebraska’s finest rock and blues bands.”
Lindner said he initially envisioned the festival taking place downtown, but after other organizations came aboard, it got bigger.
The organizers are all very excited “because it’s grown into something that we think is going to be really big and it’s going to impact a lot of people in our community,” he said.
“I’m forecasting a home run,” Lindner added later.
In booking musical acts, Lindner asked if the bands could “come help us” to play at the festival.
It’s nice that Grand Island is attracting some talented people “throughout the summer and for this event that understand our community” and will “come in and play at kind of cut-rate deals to help out,” he said.
Those acts “want to get their name out” but are also “very sensitive to helping out in different communities,” he said. “So we applaud all the musicians and (others) that help out.”
Six people spoke at a press conference Friday announcing the event. They were Lindner, Hall County Fair Manager Corby Flagle, Grand Island Tourism Executive Director Brad Mellema, Mayor Roger Steele, Chris Kotulak of Fonner Park and Melissa DeLaet of the Grand Island Community Foundation.
Mellema said Hear Grand Island has “put a shot of adrenaline into the business community on Friday nights.” An event such as Q4A Cause will draw people from other Nebraska cities, and reinforce to people in other states that there is much to do in Grand Island, Mellema said.
In introducing Steele, Lindner noted that the mayor didn’t know much about the festival, because he just learned about it recently.
“Brent is correct that I probably know the least about this of any of these folks. But I am a lawyer, and not knowing a whole lot has never stopped me from speaking in the past,” Steele said.
He knows that Q4A Cause will be successful, because the organizers “have demonstrated some great creativity and innovation in planning this event,” Steele said.
Events such as this establish Grand Island as a place for family entertainment. “That is very important to me as the mayor of Grand Island. I want Grand Island to be a place where families thrive,” Steele said.
The festival will tell people the “music they create will be appreciated in our community,” Steele said. It will raise money for local good causes, will be a showcase for Nebraska talent and will let people know that Grand Island is a place that appreciates music, art and family entertainment, he said.